Folk Art Root Sculpture, ca. 1900

Value (2013) | $10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction

Well, it came from South Jersey. And believe it or not, it was in the home that was purchased, in the eave of the garage. For several years, we never even realized that it was there.

So what did you think when you first saw it? Were you afraid to pick it up?

I think I started to dance around, and my niece describes it as the happy dance, because it was something so peculiar that I knew it was special. A piece of folk art has to have a lot of things going for it to be great. It has to draw you in. And that's exactly what this does. Back around 1890 or 1900, somewhere in that time period, somebody decided that they wanted to make something out of roots. And once they got started, they couldn't stop. It has a great old finish on it. And it's kind of like those spooky trees...


APPRAISER: the old tales. It fascinates me. It drives me crazy, and it kind of scares me, too. And that's exactly what something like this should do for you. There's a little bit of wear up here. But I'll tell you something: to a non-folk-art person, this is probably ugly as a mud fence. But to the people that collect folk art...


APPRAISER:'s a thing of great beauty. So much detail, several different snakes.


Birds. A cat.

Cat, my favorite.

Another cat. And a horse head over there. And as far as value is concerned, we really agonized over that part of it.


I would say a good auction estimate would be $30,000 to $50,000.

That's incredible. (laughing) That's really welcome news. That's unbelievable. Wow. And that is just really wonderful.

Appraisal Details

Ken Farmer LLC
Charlottesville, VA
Update (2013)
$10,000 Auction$15,000 Auction
Appraised value (2009)
$30,000 Auction$50,000 Auction
Atlantic City, NJ (June 06, 2009)
Folk Art
December 23, 2013: We contacted appraiser Ken Farmer and Alan Katz for an updated appraisal in today's market. Because it is a very specialized item, and the main collectors for this are not in the market, the value of the object has decreased.

Current Appraised Value: $10,000 - $15,000 (Decreased)

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